Who needs vanilla ice cream?
4th of July. It’s sweltering in Sacramento. No delta breezes in the evening to cool off the day. Anything under triple digits is considered a “cooling trend”. The air conditioner is working on overtime.
Time to bring out the ice cream maker.
The Cuisinart ice cream making machine I’m using is one of the best kitchen equipment purchases I’ve made. It’s less than $80, comes with an extra bowl (Williams-Sonoma), and the current model makes ice creams and sorbets in about 15 minutes. The machine’s easy to use, portable to dinners for “dueling sorbet” contests, and will soon become your best summertime friend.
The machine’s bowl has been in the freezer since June, waiting for a day like this. Hmmm…something light, something refreshing… and I spot from my neighbor’s Valencia orange tree oranges on my kitchen counter.
With simple ingredients ready ahead of time, fruit sorbets, made with an ice cream maker with freezable bowls, can be ready in less than half an hour. All you need is simple syrup made by boiling equal parts of water and sugar, and fruit puree or fresh fruit juice. Combine the few ingredients, turn on the ice cream maker and wha-la! What a cooling way to end a typical hot summer day.
Be prepared: have a batch of simple syrup ready in the fridge and a freezable ice cream maker bowl already thrown in the freezer. Sorbets set up best when ingredients are cold.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4-5 oranges, for about 2 ½ cups of juice
1 tsp. orange zest
Combine sugar and water into a small saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil to dissolve water. Remove from heat and set aside. Grate orange zest into a bowl that holds at least 4 cups. Juice oranges, strain, and add to zest, then add simple syrup. If there isn’t enough liquid for 3 ½ cups, add water to make up the difference. Refrigerate mixture until cold, a minimum of 2-3 hours.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for making the sorbet. Sorbet will be soft when finished. If desired, scrape sorbet into a seal tight container and freeze for up to 2 hours. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.